By Angie Diaz
VP, Public Relations
There have undoubtedly been several changes and evolution within the field of public relations over the past couple of years. Influencer marketing, brand activations, the rise of TikTok and more have all impacted how PR professionals engage with the consumer and the programming they put forth within their business and client proposals.
One of the most blatant industry standards that remain top of mind when developing a strong communications campaign is inclusivity. Diversity across ethnicities, age groups, sexual orientations, skin, body types, and so on have become a non-negotiable. There has been a conscious effort to bring that intersectionality through on both brand-owned platforms and those selected to work with, and on behalf of, brands. Our audience wants to feel seen and heard, and the media they consume should be representative of their daily surroundings. The multicultural majority shift is happening more quickly than expected. In fact, Americans under 35 could be a multicultural majority as early as 2023, and Hispanics are the driving force behind these population shifts. With social movements such as 2020’s Black Lives Matter we saw the national outcry for actionable change and racial equality, making a cause-driven initiative to promote diversity more important than ever. Communities are inherently diverse, and it is important to keep these unique micro-communities in mind to ensure we’re being representative of our surroundings. At CCOM, we develop culturally fluent programs that are not only inclusive, but reflective of today’s world, helping brands win by engaging in a memorable and authentic way. For us, it goes beyond a trend – it is something we have always kept top of mind from the company’s inception.
In addition to inclusive campaigns, being agile and quick-to-pivot is also key. With the rise of COVID-19, brands began to plus up their digital first efforts via virtual press junkets, events in the metaverse, digital musical concerts and more.
According to Pew Research Center, most of Americans view the impact of the internet positively, and nearly 9 out of 10 say it’s been an essential or important tool during the coronavirus outbreak. A mass scale event wasn’t reasonable in early 2021 due to necessary social distancing measures, but people were still seeking ways to build community, embracing technology more than ever to support all aspects of isolation, and looking for new ways to find entertainment. In recognition of the market’s needs, our team developed Urban Divas United presented by Neutrogena… a first-of-its-kind virtual concert experience that celebrated an unprecedented moment of leading female musicians, while connecting with and empowering those singing and those listening. Through this activation, sponsoring brands had the opportunity to align with and support the empowerment of diverse women through the language of music. It was a digital-first concert experience that increased visibility with a younger Gen Z female demographic. From a dedicated bundle sold on e-commerce and access to a private backstage experience, to approximately 667,000 concert views across the globe, this digital execution broke records with a powerful sentiment of unity and inclusivity regardless of ongoing challenges. However, with most of the US adapting to new, less restrictive COVID regulations, IRL [in real life] moments are making a comeback and so, it is important to adapt and evolve to a hybrid reality.
Data capture and client retargeting has also become extremely valuable as we work to maintain communication with prospective buyers. Brands are actively looking to extend beyond the moment by integrating a framework that’d allow them to leverage consumer data and insights to increase retention. Continuously building a bank of consumers that have already shown interest or intent with the brand is key for successful future programming and can ensure that we: don’t forget about our captured audience, gather information on the demographics that resonate most, consistently remind these consumers that we understand their needs and preferences and improve the business’s efficiency.